December 14, 2014

12 Days of Tips #7: Lightroom Development Panel Toggles

Simple on the surface relative to Photoshop and other editing software Lightroom has a vast array of subtle features that can be of huge help during developing or other tasks.  One such feature is the ability to toggle (turn on/off) individual panels in the Development module. The result of this is the ability to see the effect of the adjustments within those panels without having to manually reset any of the adjustments or undo any work.

Take this photo for example.  In the first screenshot the photo is in it’s final edited state.  It has been several years since the photo was edited and I no longer recall what adjustments I made in which panels or what their effect is.

Lightroom Panel Toggle - Final Edit

Lightroom Panel Toggle – Final Edit

By toggling the adjustments in a few of the panels I can quickly and easily see where I made adjustments and what effect they had on the photo.  Let’s start with the Tone Curve panel.

Lightroom Panel Toggle - Tone Curve Example

Lightroom Panel Toggle – Tone Curve Panel Turned Off

Simply click the little light switch icon to the left of the panel name and the settings are temporarily turned off.  You can see that the Tone Curve panel was used to make adjustments to the image, adding contrast by darkening the blacks / shadows and brightening the whites / highlights.  Let’s try another panel.

Lightroom Panel Toggle - B&W Example

Lightroom Panel Toggle – B&W Panel Turned Off

Toggling the B&W panel (HSL / Color for colour images) shows that the shirt has been significantly lightened and the hair has been darkened.  Split Toning is next.

Lightroom Panel Toggle - Split Toning Example

Lightroom Panel Toggle – Split Toning Panel Turned Off

Turns out a hint of a sepia effect had been added by for a bit of a vintage look.

Not only are the toggle switches a good way to rediscover which past adjustments were made, but they’re also a great way to get a baseline while editing to see if you’ve pushed an adjustment too far or not far enough.

Want to learn how the effects in the individual panels were created and what other helpful surprises lay waiting for you in Lightroom? Sign up for our Adobe Lightroom and Photo Critique and our Adobe Lightroom – Intermediate Class which is packed full of neat little tricks like this.

Want to edit in style? Enter the draw for today’s prize, a camera t-shirt!

Camera t-shirt

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Photography, Tips